With all the talk about Zombie Runs and scary, spooky trials, it’s a stark reminder that many people are honestly afraid to run our glorious trail system. Even more so, afraid to run a trail alone. Well, if we don’t run alone, then sometimes running is not an option. I totally understand. So if you are one of those people who is leery about trying a trail, here is a good one for you. Yankee Woods in Oak Forest, IL. Park in the lot off of Central Avenue, just south of 159th Street. Here is the photo of the 3.1 mile loop. Its super easy, just keep running clockwise and don’t take any of the little spurs. You won’t get lost.
This trail runs the perimeter of the George W Dunne Golf Course and is surrounded by urban area, including busy thoroughfares like Central Avenue and 159th Street. The trail is heavily traveled so no matter what time of day, you will encounter cyclists, walkers, moms with strollers, and lots of runners of varying pace. It’s a small piece of paradise nestled amongst the bustling suburbs of Tinley Park and Oak Forest. It is also part of a much larger trail system for when you get braver and want to explore new territories! If you want and I have, you can run from the Midlothian Reservoir (entrance on 167th Street, just west of Cicero Avenue) all the way into Palos. Great trail. Very scenic. Rolling Hills. Map below includes the additional trails beyond Yankee Woods.
Since the trail is surrounded by people, traffic and the golf course, you won’t ever be alone. If there were an emergency, you could literally bust thru the woods onto a busy street or into a neighborhood with a few steps. There is one section that is somewhat secluded but it’s a very short jaunt.
I hit this trail last night on my way home because I didn’t have a lot of time and Dr Alexis won’t let me run very far and I was once again amazed by the beauty. Here are a few photos:
It looks like you are in the middle of nowhere but you’re really not. Nice, huh? I still wear my Wrist Saver pepper spray and go without music so that I can be aware of my surroundings. I always like to err on the side of caution but I’m not at all nervous about running this trail alone. Overall, its a great trail nestled into a very busy area. The miles will fly by and be a blur….just like me in this photo. 🙂
** Happy Trail Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** firstname.lastname@example.org
I always run or walk the dog here when I can. There is a porta potty in the car park and the businesses along the main road are a great place to refill water or use a proper bathroom. I ran here a lot during my marathon training. I also believe that you can start at Bremen Woods on Oak Park Ave and 159th and connect to Yankee for a little extra mileage. I park in Hancock Fabrics and Menards carpark when I go. The Bremen Woods entrance now also has a new dog park for those who wish to become members.
Great info, thanks!!
Nice post and lately seems you the spokesperson for getting on and making use of the trail systems in preserves of our region.A good mission to have! I might add that the trails you mention are part of the Cook County FPD’s Region 8 division. Note that you can extend the mileage off of that 2-mile paved path that goes South along Central from Yankee Woods and ends along Cicero at Midlothian Reservoir. There is another 2.7-mi loop system at Midlothian Meadows at NE-corner of 159th & Cicero. To acess the meadows you simply cross Cicero and take the sidewalk path along E-side of Cicero N to intersection at 159th…cross at the light and there’s a link-path to the 2.7-mi loop. If one ran or biked all those loop trails or connector segments (exlduing 1.1 mi connector along 151st, ya would log ca 19.65-mi. Also…there is another 3.60-mi loop way S along Vollmer Road at Vollmer Road Grove. I hope someday CCFPD can develop a linkage trail from Vollmer Grove loop to merge with the system at Yankee Woods and Midlothian Reservoir….that would be awesome! Write or email your commissioners (if ya live in Cook County).
Since I’m stuck on crutches, thanks for sharing the trail pics. Feel like I’m right there with you. Keep on running!
You’ll be back soon! In the mean time, I’ll run a few miles for you. I can’t go far yet but am just happy to be moving!
That’s my trail! I live about .5 miles from the one of the starting points. I run up there 2-3 times a week. I know, I need to be more adventurous but I never seem to get bored with the scenery! It is quick and easy for me to get to and makes me feel like I am really getting ‘away’.